Europe’s first forestSPA, experience nature at waldSPA
About one month ago, the family owned and run 5* Hotel Forsthofgut in Leogang (in the Salzburger County) has opened the doors to their newly expanded waldSPA® (wald = forest), Europe’s first forestSPA. I have been invited to inspect this new concept!
The homestead on which the hotel stands today was set up in 1617 as forestry farm and is in family hands until today. It was already in the year 1960 when the family made the first 2 guest rooms to benefit from growing tourism in the area. After more steps of expansion and refurbishments, the ‘most familial nature hotel in the Alps’ today can host up to almost 300 guests in a number of rooms, suites, family suites and luxury chalet suites.
The surrounding old-growth forest has always been the family’s home and source of living. Each generation grew up playing in the surrounding woods, discovering flora and fauna. Nature, with mystical woods, seemingly endless meadows, majestic mountains, and fresh and crystal clear waters envelops every day life in this part of Austria.
Hence the family’s desire to bring the forest closer to their hotel guests, who can experience the waldSPA®. This natural place of peace and calmness invites to return back to the roots, and approach nature in a particularly gentle and soothing way everywhere they go.
A ‘hanging’ forest runs through all 4 floors of waldSPA.
I can only congratulate to the successful expansion of the spa, which for the first time now offers dedicated areas for families with children and adult-only.
Designed in what I call a modern alpine decor, the beautiful nature elements can be found indoors as well. Plenty of natural wood from own forests combined with modern design elements that ensure a feeling and successful mix of contemporary aesthetics, warmth, cosiness, functionality and pleasing decoration.
The family spa on 1.800 m2 provides in- and outdoor pools, a variety of heat experiences and own relaxation areas.
The 2.000 m2 new and adult-only (16 yrs plus) extension is amazing:
- 300 m2 fitness with Technogym equipment for strength & cardio workouts, and functional training, open 24/7
- a 70 m2 studio for yoga and other activities
- natural swimming pond set in 30.000 m2 garden
- 5 different heat experiences such as bio sauna, infrared including brine, steam rooms and a 40 m2 high ceiling outdoor panorama sauna, with breathtaking views…
- 25 meter heated outdoor pool with indoor access
- outdoor jacuzzi in the generous size of a small pool
- cosy panorama sun decks
- outdoor rock shower
- a variety of the cosiest and most fashionable relaxation rooms
- tea lounge with refreshments (juices, waters, teas, fruits, nuts etc)
- treatment rooms for the full range of spa and beauty treatments, with spa brands such as local Alpienne, [comfort zone], and pure Altitude.
Next to indoor activities offered in the studio and fitness area – like aquajogging or yoga – following a weekly itinerary, the ‘nature hotel’ also engages in a great variety of guided outdoor activities, such as nordic waling, running sessions, guided hikes, or morning gymnastic sessions in the garden.
There is no shortage in opportunities to spend an active vacation anyhow.
Hiking, Climbing and Biking opportunities are everywhere around. The area is known for excellent biking conditions with 480 km of bike trails and a modern bike park www.bikepark-leogang.com located right next to the hotel. In fact, Saalfelden Leogang is part of the largest E-bike region in the world!
And if you need more green, try one of the 11 stunning golf courses nearby.
Families with children enjoy further included services:
- child care on 6 days a week including play, activities and meals
- play ground and kids farm: a large area with pet zoo and jungle gym
- teen dreams: an 80 m2 lounge with wifi, and activities such as biking, grill&chill and more
- hotel own tennis court and soccer field
Europe’s first forestSPA, experience nature up close with all your senses
I am to meet the spa manager at the spa reception, who is engaged in a phone call on my arrival. Thus I have a few minutes to look around. I notice one of the spa beauticians handling a spray bottle. Satisfying my curiosity, she explains: “the moss on the walls is real, we ‘feed’ it on a regular base with fresh water.” What a stunning way of bringing nature inside!
During my tour through this ‘leading spa resort’ by the spa manager, he asks me if I had any better shoes with me (it is a particularly hot day and I am wearing a pair of flip flops). I am surprised at the question, and am puzzled by his smirk. “I want to show you something very special” he replies, and off we go, walking through the 30.000 m2 garden – or shall I rather call it park – past the natural swimming pond, towards the adjacent enclosure, their own deer park.
The animals are friendly and curious and approach us carefully as we take a steep and short 5 minute hike up through the thick forest inside the enclosure to a wooden platform on a clearing. “This is were we offer outdoor massages”, I am explained. “Wow” is all I can manage to reply. I listen instead to the swoosh of the wind in the tree tops, and bird’s songs, whilst inhaling deeply greenwood scent, watching the grand deer grazing nearby.
my waldSPA® experience
I have to mention up front how highly professional I have experienced all communication prior to my arrival. It has been a great pleasure to experience such high level of successful communication with a professional yet warm and welcoming tone.
I have spent a beautiful day at Europe’s first forest spa.
I have tried ALL of the facilities.
I swam in the pool whilst enjoying the majestic mountain range views.
I chilled in the shade on the panorama sun deck, enjoying the scent of pine woods.
I sweated in the sauna and inhaled brine.
I want to come back.
What a deeply relaxing and pleasant day, being this close to nature, experiencing all its beauties.
You can enjoy waldSPA as a non hotel resident on a ‘day spa’ basis, including
the best breakfast in the area, afternoon buffet, use of all facilities including activities, and a spa bag containing robe, slippers, and towels.
Two thumbs up for Europe’s first forestSpa waldSPA®!